Idowu cuts out cocky streak ahead of World Championships
OLYMPIC silver medallist Phillips Idowu does not really do low-key.
FULLY FOCUSED: Phillips Idowu has cut out the cocky streak and is 100 per cent determined ahead of World Championships
The crimson-cropped triple jumper draws attention wherever he goes but Idowu intends to slip off the radar before springing a surprise at the next month's World Championships.
For someone who cuts such an extrovert figure, Idowu is surprisingly reticent up close. A cocky streak prior to the Beijing Olympics was, in truth, out of character and it did not serve him well.
But the sheepish peacock no longer believes the hype surrounding major championships.
Unless Idowu can better his season's best of 17.60m at the Aviva London Grand Prix in Crystal Palace this weekend, he will arrive in Berlin no higher than fifth in the season's rankings.
But Idowu, 30, insists that's just the way he likes it.
"My season's going well - it's quite low key. I did well in the first couple of meets and I've only lost once this year," said the Hackney-born athlete.
"I've struggled to find the right conditions this season - I've been competing in heavy rain and wind so my in my distances I haven't really shown my best.
"But I'm just happy to be in good shape and ready for Crystal Palace and the World Championships and looking forward to getting out to Berlin.
"I know I'm jumping well and I don't mind if I go to Berlin as top of the rankings or not.
"I don't know how low key someone like me can be but I try my best!"
Standing in Idowu's way in Berlin will be current world and Olympic champion Nelson Evora of Portugal.
The duo became embroiled in a captivating clash at the European Team Championships, where, with a home crowd behind him, Evora came out on top.
Indicative of Idowu's new-found determination however, was the way the Londoner came back and beat his rival just days later in Malaga.
While Cuban trio Arne David Girat, Alexis Copello and Yoandris Betanzos will also challenge the podium in Berlin, in the absence of heptathlete Kelly Sotherton and marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, Idowu is arguably Britain's best hope of a gold medal next month.
Idowu will get the chance to lay down a marker at Crystal Palace - where he will compete against Girat - and the Brit has fond memories of the south London arena.
In 2002, Idowu chalked up one of his rare victories over Sydney 2000 gold medallist and world record holder Jonathan Edwards.
And Idowu, who will remain as the pretender to Edwards' throne until he fulfils his potential, believes there is no better way to warm up for the World Championships.
"It's pretty much always the last big event before a major championships so it's always good to compete there," he added.
"And it's one of the few places where I beat Jonathan so I have fond memories of the place. I'm born, bred and raised in London so it's great to be competing there now, but it is a bit too far south for my liking!"